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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Refined Entry In A Crowded Segment

A Familiar Infotainment System

Standard on the base Sonata SE is a six-speaker stereo with AM/FM, SiriusXM, CD, MP3, USB and auxiliary input. It’s iPod- and iPhone-compatible with voice commands. You even get 600MB of on-board storage for copying music files to. At the heart of the base radio is an ARM processor clocked at 333MHz, though more specific information about the exact SoC being used isn't available.

Stepping up to the Sport and higher trim levels adds a 5-inch LCD touchscreen, Blue Link telematics and a back-up camera. The SoC doesn't change, though. The 5-inch display is fairly low-resolution, but it does make navigating flash drives loaded with music easier to manage.

Check the tech package option and your infotainment system gets upgraded to the same technology that comes standard on the Hyundai Genesis sedan. We delved deeply into the internal hardware in 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan: Android, Atom, and More, but didn’t get to spend much time with the infotainment system until now.


As a refresher, it's powered by a custom-ordered Freescale i.MX53 SoC clocked at 1.1GHz. The i.MX53 is an evolution of the i.MX51 used by Ford SYNC and the older Kia UVO solution. The chip sports a single ARM Cortex-A9 core with Imageon Z460 graphics and an Android-based operating system that’s skinned to match Hyundai’s other infotainment systems.

Hyundai dubs the system in the Genesis sedan AVN 4.5, and AVN 4.0 on the new Sonata. The only difference between them is that the Genesis has more buttons for music sources, while the Sonata relies more on its touchscreen interface. As with the Genesis sedan, the 8-inch screen has a typical resolution of 800x480, which is sufficiently detailed from the driver’s seat.

This particular infotainment system features enhanced Blue Link capabilities that include destination search, POI Web search and download powered by Google. There’s even remote start through an iOS or Android smartphone application, automatic collision notification, enhanced roadside assistance and maintenance reminder services. Drivers who are concerned with their impact on fuel economy can access an information display that graphs detailed metrics for acceleration, deceleration, speed distribution and idle time.

Navigation is standard Hyundai fare, with flat maps that are adequate for daily driving, but not as detailed as the 3D maps available from competitors. Hyundai does add a split-screen view mode to put navigation and music functions side-by-side, which is a nice addition.

The infotainment system also supports Wi-Fi network connectivity for data-compatible applications. Unfortunately, there weren’t any Wi-Fi capable apps available for us to play with.

  • blackmagnum
    Thanks for the informative review. My next mid-sized sedan will definitely be a Toyota Camry.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Yuck, dont like the styling at all compared to the previous generation.
    To top it off the performance engine gets gimped.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    14413041 said:
    Thanks for the informative review. My next mid-sized sedan will definitely be a Toyota Camry.

    The Mazda 6 is still the best in my eyes, but the infotainment system they use is horrible. Toyota Entune is very dated as well.

    14414288 said:
    Yuck, dont like the styling at all compared to the previous generation.
    To top it off the performance engine gets gimped.

    From what I've heard, the previous gen sold very well in the US but was a flop internationally, hence why they went back to more conventional styling. I don't expect them to sell many turbos this time around, or those that will don't care about raw output numbers.
    Reply
  • punahou1
    My next car will NOT be connected to the internet or any other cloud based technology. I can see it now - terrorists hack into multiple cars and initiate an acceleration virus....
    Reply
  • tuanies
    14415149 said:
    My next car will NOT be connected to the internet or any other cloud based technology. I can see it now - terrorists hack into multiple cars and initiate an acceleration virus....

    Or compromise Tesla's Autopilot system remotely...
    Reply
  • gbair
    The new steering wheel controls look pretty similar to the '14 Kia Optimas, which I didn't really like.
    Reply
  • Kary K
    Not terribly impressed with the Apple solution if it requires USB. I probably won't like the Android solution either. but then I'm fairly happy with the various players being able to connect to a car stereo by BT. Smartphones change too much to buy a car based on what they are currently like.
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    I wonder when the Sonata will be offered as a plugin hybrid not just hybrid and a lean burn engine not just Atkinson cycle
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    UGLY! What the hell were the design engineers thinking? Far worse design versus ALL of the previous generation body styles. I don't give a crap about the interior design, if the outside of my car is going to look like that? Hyundai really needs to consider firing the moron senior engineer that allowed this ugliness to go into production. Damn.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    14417533 said:
    Not terribly impressed with the Apple solution if it requires USB. I probably won't like the Android solution either. but then I'm fairly happy with the various players being able to connect to a car stereo by BT. Smartphones change too much to buy a car based on what they are currently like.

    USB is a must IMO or you'll just have something very demanding draining your phone and pissed off customers wondering why their battery life sucks.

    14418678 said:
    I wonder when the Sonata will be offered as a plugin hybrid not just hybrid and a lean burn engine not just Atkinson cycle

    Its rumored to come soon IIRC.

    Reply